reviews by Charlie Wentling
writer: Barbara Kesel
artists: Andrea Di Vito and Brad Vancata
flashback to Seahn's childhood finally comes to an end. Why
did Barbara Kesel choose to stretch this story out for so
long, without including any twists or surprises? The outcome
of Trenin's hunt was known from the beginning, and seeing
it acted out in such a straightforward manner doesn't add
anything to any of the characters. The only impact it has
on present day events is that Seahn is forced to regain his
memory of what happened.
storyline concerns Pyrem's rescue attempt of Ingra. Pyrem
faces off against the spider-like Ervulsh. The outcome of
this conflict is not in much doubt either, since Pyrem brings
along two of the seven weapons of Altwaal to help him. Even
without such a large advantage, Pyrem would probably come
out on top.
next to all of the characters should be of more interest than
what is happening now.
writer: Tony Bedard
artists: Fabrizio Fiorentino and Matt Ryan
Bedard takes a risk with this issue, and it pays off wonderfully.
Shifting the tone further than ever towards humor, he breaks
the fourth wall by having one character aware that he is in
a comic book. It reminds me in some ways of John Byrne's run
on She-Hulk, and uses some of the same themes in common
with Grant Morrison.
continues her tour of the different guilds in an effort to
win back the Guild spirits, coming this time to the Astral
lands. The central message of the Astral teachings is to open
your mind to new things. The most bizarre new thing that Giselle
encounters is the stereotypical comic book fanboy who wanders
through the issue deleting anything he doesn't like and commenting
on all the clichés that he sees.
bold move to so openly lampoon your audience, but Bedard does
it with such style and finesse that it is impossible not to
like. At the same time, the story does maintain its own internal
consistency fairly well, even with reality being twisted to
its breaking point. This issue is one of the high points of
the series to date.
writer: Tony Bedard
artists: Paul Pelletier and Dave Meikis
of Negation #10 is striking: a baby in peril surrounded
by dozens of sharp blades. The cover is not symbolic of some
vague threat, but an actual image from the story. Last month
Charon came into the possession of baby Memi, and was able
to see that the child is not what she appeared to be. Now
Charon is running all manner of lethal tests on the infant
to discover her "terminal threshold."
all of the tests done on the child are played for humor! And
it works beautifully. The humanity and warmth that Charon
shows at the end of the gauntlet are unexpected and yet perfectly
and his companions try to regroup after the events of the
last few issues. Zaida tells her own and Memi's story to the
others, but there are doubts that what she says is true, and
Kaine clearly lies to protect her. The group decides to try
to rescue the child by making use of Mercer Drake's as of
yet unexplained powers.
is in top form, and this issue shows off his talents well
with a dozen full page images that serve the story wonderfully.
Not only is this the best issue of the week, but probably
the best of the year.
writer: Chuck Dixon
artists: Andy Smith and Brad Vancata
Sigil #28 is not one of the high points in this series.
Sigil doesn't have many high points.
another of those issues where nothing significant changes
over the course of the 22 pages. The entire issue consists
of Sam and Khyradon trying to kill each other. The ending
is meant to leave the reader hanging, but there is no suspense
at all. By making Sam as powerful as he is, Dixon is making
it harder to set up compelling situations and enemies.
the supporting characters appear at all, despite the background
page inside the front cover that goes on at length about everyone.
These recap pages need to be better tailored to the issue
in question. Not much background information is needed to
understand this issue, since nothing much happens.
is also below CrossGen's normal high standards. Maybe there
were deadline problems, because Smith and Vancata normally
do much better work than this. There are too many large panels
that don't add anything, and the issue doesn't flow as well
as normal. Hopefully things will turn around next month.
writer: Ron Marz
artists: Greg Land and Jay Leisten
and Gareth continue their quest for the second fragment of
Ayden's arrow. The two of them have run across some members
of the Ankharan resistance, who are struggling against Mordath
for their freedom. Eventually Arwyn is faced with a choice,
to either continue searching for the fragment or to stop and
help the Ankharan resistance. Ron Marz continues to give the
characters decisions that are not simple black and white choices.
the Dawn Warrior, is introduced. In some ways a clichéd
character with a destiny to fulfill, Rahm becomes more than
that. Arwyn also shows her first real growth as a character
as she finally starts to come to terms with the death of her
family. There are also some romantic sparks between Arwyn
and Gareth. If anything happens with this, it should be done
art gets even better if that is possible. The art is nothing
short of beautiful on every page.
of the Rat #5
writer: Chuck Dixon
artists: Rod Whigham and Drew Geraci
of the first four issues have been building up to the inevitable
confrontation between Boon and Bhuto Khan. This fifth issue
allows Chuck Dixon to finish maneuvering everyone into their
proper places for the big showdown next month. The hordes
outside of Zhumar continue their assault even though they
have run out of ammunition for their devastating cannon, and
will soon be out of food. Inside Zhumar, members of the thieves'
guild and Judge X'ain's men both pursue Boon.
character development occurs with all of the nonstop action.
The story feels a little bit padded, but not enough to prevent
you from enjoying it. Regular artist Jeff Johnson takes a
month off, and the fill-in work by Rod Whigham is good and
a good match for Johnson's style.